What to take along
Every person has their own idea of what is essential gear and these ideas differ greatly. However there are some items that absolutely cannot be ignored.
1) All documentation required for border crossings such as passports, vehicle documents and items mentioned above. I always place all my docs and the passports of everyone in the vehicle in a folder which then goes into a steel, lockable safe which is installed in the Landy. Excess cash/foreign currency, wallets etc also gets locked away. Make copies of these docs and use the copies to hand to officials who ask for them along the way, originals stay in the safe. I only keep a small amount of cash in my wallet so that when an official requests payment for a fine or whatever, he doesn't see a whole wad of notes and ups the price.
2) Basic spares such as fuses, fan belts, radiator hoses, hose clamps, a fairly comprehensive tool box, puncture repair kit, oil, coolant/anti freeze etc. You know your own vehicle so know which things are likely to be needed. In a Landy, it could be a lot of stuff
3) Recovery equipment. Shackles, tow rope, snatch strap, High lift Jack, I have a 12 ton winch installed on the Landy so have no need of some of the other stuff available. If taking a route with a lot of sand, you should consider a set of sand ladders or track mats and a shovel. As a lot of the roads you will travel are twin tracks with a middel manetjie an essential item is a seed net to stop your radiator getting clogged up with grass seeds Always pack a good torch/flashlight/head light and never forget that first aid kit.
4) Fuel and water. Calculate the longest section between fuel stops and add 30% then make sure you can carry the required amount of fuel for that section. The extra percentage is to take into consideration that you may be driving in low gears, maybe low range, which will chew more fuel than normal.
Now I have the stuff to get me there and back, time to look at the living necessities.
1) Your choice of tents as discussed above, should it be a roof top tent or ground tent
2) A good quality sleeping bag, the time of the year will dictate how much insulation you need, but remember even in summer you can get the odd cold snap and at night some dessert areas can get cold at night. A person looses a lot of body heat through the head so a beanie is not a bad idea. Personally, I am very fussy about my pillow, I just don't sleep well without my trusted pillow, so this always goes along. I'm sure H.e feels the same way about his blankie.
3) A good quality stretcher or mattress. Make sure it fits inside your tent with doors zipped closed.
4) Pack your clothes in a soft kit bag, it's easier to fit into empty spaces and remember you don't need a full wardrobe, pack the essentials and wash stuff along the way, there is usually a river or stream with a few rocks for this purpose. Make sure the soap is of the bio degradable type. Always pack a warm jacket for the surprise cold evening. Don't forget a hat or cap, the African sun is merciless.
5) A netted ground sheet is a good idea to put down under some kind of awning to sit in the shade during the heat of the day, I have a pull-out awning attached to the roof rack of the Landy. Even for a quick lunch or coffee stop the awning is one of the best pieces of equipment you can have.
6) A fold up table, or a solid aluminium table with fold away legs is great for preparing those gourmet meals, there's nothing worse than working in the sand. Obviously you need a place to store these things, the Landy has a bracket between the roof and the roof rack where the table slides into and is out of the way.
7) A good quality folding camp chair, to heck with spending the evening around the fire on a hard ammo box or log. For some reason I'm not that well padded around the bum area anymore
8) You may consider a gas bottle or two with one of those two plate burner stove thingys to boil the kettle quickly at a pit stop or to make use of a skottle for those awesome bush breakfasts.
9) A robust fire grate as well as fire pot stands which can also be used to rest the grid on over the coals.
10) Your choice of cooking utensils, but never forget a really good knife set, tin opener & cork screw. When it comes to plates, I use a deep enamel plate and an enamel coffee mug with my teaspoon tied to the handle on a piece of string. That way I don't loose it nor does it continuously fall in the sand. There's no need for crystal glasses for the wine with dinner or the odd Scotch and Soda, the enamel mug works just as well and fits into the cup holder on the side of my camp chair. What luxury!!
11) I have made no mention of pots and pans, that is up to you, but remember the space situation.
12) Finally your camera, Binoculars, and various books. And if you are really headed into the back of beyond a satellite phone.
As said before, remember that space is limited and an overloaded, badly packed vehicle is a recipe for disaster.
Get out there and enjoy!!!